September 2010

Editor's Letter—September 2010

Milla Jovovich defies categorization: actress, model, musician, multipurpose, multihyphenate, multitalented, multitasking, multilingual. She’s still regularly asked to deliver her most famous line from her film of years ago, The Fifth Element: “MOOOOL-tee-pass!” In “Character Driven,” photographed by Guy Aroch, Jovovich chats with Leslie Gornstein about finally shedding the label model turned actress and why becoming a mother gave her a confidence boost unlike any other accomplishment.

As the very words September issue conjure up visions of fashion, Jovovich treats us to a tailored take on fall that is a thoroughly modern twist on the likes of Katharine Hepburn and Lauren Bacall. It’ll make you long for cooler weather. A fitting companion piece, “Call of the Wild,” by Hayley Atkin, focuses on the accessories that speak to our animal instincts. Hey, it’s a jungle out there.

When it comes to Pac-10 football, L.A. is a bifurcated town. There are Bruins (full disclosure: I am one), and there are Trojans. For the past decade or so, expectations have been markedly different for each school. For UCLA, it’s hope tempered with reality and more than a little resignation; for USC, victory has pretty much been a foregone conclusion. This will be a special season for USC—but not in a good way. In “The Fall of Troy,” Baxter Holmes details the school’s missteps after the NCAA announced its allegations against the Trojan athletic program. And they’ll make an SC fan’s blood boil.

L.A.-based artist Lari Pittman is comfortable with contradiction in both his work and his life—and the results burst with revelation. In “Surface Tension,” Rachel Kushner susses out an idiosyncratic artistic vision that, too, defies categorization.

In a twist as unexpected as any plot development in one of her mysteries, Edgar Award–winning writer Denise Hamilton became a dedicated follower of perfume, hot on the trail of one suggestive scent after another. And like most great stories with a compelling plot line, the adventure began where she least expected it: in a thrift store. In “Embracing Chaos,” she takes us into her secret life.

Back in July, we included Jonathan Gold in a select group of L.A. tastemakers, defined as people who will make us do things we might otherwise not. In this issue, he joins us as a writer. Many know Gold as Southern California’s most intrepid food critic, fearlessly crossing culinary and geographic boundaries in search of unique comestibles. But his craft extends beyond exquisitely detailing the sensations each mouthful affords him. Gold sees food in a larger context, as it becomes the mortar that binds diners to chefs and vice versa. In “Consuming Passion,” he and Top Chef Michael Voltaggio dig into a deep-dish philosophy of food.

Don’t judge the beverage in “Art of Deception” by looks alone. The amber, incandescent fluid with the foamy head called Spanish Golden Ale might appear to be a refreshing draught of beer. It is not—the cocktail pictured is a creation of mixologist Lucas Paya, who likes to play with expectations. It has been conceived exclusively for LA and will be available through September at Bazaar in Beverly Hills.

Think of this issue as an experience that spans the five senses.